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When Getting Rid of College Lectures Makes Sense

timothy (36799) writes | more than 2 years ago

Education 3

timothy (36799) writes "NPR (don't worry, the article is worth reading, even if you don't want to listen to the audio) reports that Harvard physicist and professor Eric Mazur has largely gotten rid of the lecture in his classes, after finding that in lecture-based classes, students tend to commit to memory formulae and heuristics, but fail to develop deep understanding of concepts. Mazur has tried &mdash and seemingly succeeded — to cultivate deeper learning with a combination of small group peer-instruction and a tight feedback loop based on in-class polling about particular problems. Joe Redish also teaches phyics, at University of Maryland, and says, 'With modern technology, if all there is is lectures, we don't need faculty to do it. ... Get 'em to do it once, put it on the Web, and fire the faculty.'"

3 comments

Fire the Faculty! (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574512)

That way in the future everyone can continue to cut, copy and paste to advance the frontiers of knowledge and science. If America wants to set out and destroy its educational system, what an effective way to do it.

Even with the approach Mazur is taking, which he is to be given credit for, students will still need the conceptual and theoretical leadership of some kind of "faculty" that can deliver new, creative, and breakthrough content that only comes through research and experience with a given subject. The notion that most kids can from birth simply grow up to be Einstein without instruction from others is wishful thinking at best and holds the potential to destroy civilization at worse. This meme is being pushed by for profit colleges, who simply want to see dollars that would otherwise go to public education directed into their pockets instead.

I disagree; Lectures are valuable (1)

AlienSexist (686923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577780)

And for the Aural learning types who learn best by watching and listening over reading and doing... To the custodial arts with you! Humans are naturally tuned to listen to other Humans for the transfer of knowledge, so instead of being able to watch and question an expert we should watch a pre-recorded lecture on say YouTube, scan the 100s of troll comments, and ignore all the other distractions. Yes indeed! Scholastic ability of the future.
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